The Student Room Group

Continuing Studies in UK

I want to know about taking GCSE or IGCSE in uk. I’m from Sri Lanka where we have GCE Ordinary level. I’m willing to study in uk without completing my secondary education here in my country. I found that there is GCSE or IGCSE as equivalent study for completing secondary education which take 2 years to study. Would I be able to take these IGCSEs (or CGSEs) in uk without having me doing the O Level here not in English. I think I can study two years for the test and I want to mention that I’m 15 from last July (will this effect my study)

Scroll to see replies

Original post by Monishagar M
I want to know about taking GCSE or IGCSE in uk. I’m from Sri Lanka where we have GCE Ordinary level. I’m willing to study in uk without completing my secondary education here in my country. I found that there is GCSE or IGCSE as equivalent study for completing secondary education which take 2 years to study. Would I be able to take these IGCSEs (or CGSEs) in uk without having me doing the O Level here not in English. I think I can study two years for the test and I want to mention that I’m 15 from last July (will

I think you can , Because I came in Uk (I was in Italy before ) started my year 10 when I was 15 it’s just too many stress but did my best on my GCSEs It’s just you have lot to catchup with Coursework, revision but I’m sure you will make it .Good luck
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by Zara_muntaha7
I think you can , Because I came in Uk (I was in Italy before ) started my year 10 when I was 15 it’s just too many stress but did my best on my GCSEs It’s just you have lot to catchup with Coursework, revision but I’m sure you will make it .Good luck

Thank you.
Yes there's no reason why you can't do GCSEs or IGCSEs (or a combination of both) in the UK.
Original post by PinkMobilePhone
Yes there's no reason why you can't do GCSEs or IGCSEs (or a combination of both) in the UK.

🙂 Thank you
Reply 5
O level, IGCSE and GCSE are all of the same standard and taken at the same age - 16. If you came to the UK now you would normally take GCSEs in May/June 2022. It sounds as though you're going to miss this and so will probably have to find a college that can help you do enough in the first year to get some GCSEs. Alternatively you could take O levels where you are and then go straight to A level here, or study privately for a year when you get here to take GCSE/IGCSEs in 2023
Original post by EOData
O level, IGCSE and GCSE are all of the same standard and taken at the same age - 16. If you came to the UK now you would normally take GCSEs in May/June 2022. It sounds as though you're going to miss this and so will probably have to find a college that can help you do enough in the first year to get some GCSEs. Alternatively you could take O levels where you are and then go straight to A level here, or study privately for a year when you get here to take GCSE/IGCSEs in 2023

Yes, they’re all same, but my case is different. I want to become a astronomer. And there are four steps in becoming a astronomer, 1. Good grades in Physics and Maths (science stream) in High/Secondary school. 2. Bachelors degree in astronomy or physics. 3. Master’s degree in physics/astronomy. 4. PhD in astronomy. Then I’ll have all the qualifications to work as a astronomer. But in my case, I have a problem in the first step of having good grades in secondary school. Well here in my school I can only study combined science which includes chemistry, physics, biology. And the worst thing is that it is only in bilingual half in English and half in Tamil (My primary language) Here they don’t offer wide range of selections of subjects. I can’t take physics, chemistry and biology individually. This IGCSE or GCSE is important for me because I think that it is the stem and foundation to the great things I’ll be studying later on. What do you think I should do? Can I study for GCSE or IGCSE in uk from next September joining with year 10 and write my tests on end of year 11 after studying for whole two years? I don’t think this age problem is going to be big. What do you think? Even there is a school closure problem is going on uk… I would like to know what do you think 🤔🙂

Can I be in year ten if I’m 16? From next September.

I found someone did too- https://www.quora.com/I-am-16-and-I-am-in-10th-grade-Is-it-okay-If-not-how-can-I-cover-my-age
(edited 2 years ago)
You probably can't go into year 10 aged already 16 - school years in the UK are almost completely based on age and you would be two years older than everyone else. You would be much better off completing your O levels where you are and coming to the UK for A levels. Self teaching yourself the additional content for GCSE physics really should not be a big task.
Reply 8
Original post by Monishagar M
Can I be in year ten if I’m 16? From next September.

No. It would be unusual to be allowed to join Year 11 at 16, I don't think you'd have a chance of joining Year 10.

Edit: But you can study Physics A level having taken Combined Science at GCSE / Double Science at IGCSE. It's not necessary to have studied separate Sciences.
(edited 2 years ago)
Yes, I admit. Then what about me getting me into year 11? I’m much concerned about coming to uk to study is because they don’t teach well in my schools here and I find uk’s curriculum is better. And if it’s like taking O level here, I’ll be writing the exams in 2023 February or March, because schools in my country (Sri lanka) we’re been closed for a long time and now only they started them all. Usually O level will be written in next year August. But since we haven’t studied during the lockdowns due to Covid. They are going to start from second term and my grade 10 will end in 2022 April. And then 9 months of grade 11 (grade=year in uk). I’m 15 now (Born in 1st of July 2006). Is getting into year eleven and catching up with others hard too? Well my family coming to UK is majorly Depents on my studies. And looks like it would be next September. What you all think. Any advices?

Or

Can I take a online course for IGCSE in uk from here and take the exam by my local Cambridge exam providers? (Like British Council)
Original post by skylark2
You probably can't go into year 10 aged already 16 - school years in the UK are almost completely based on age and you would be two years older than everyone else. You would be much better off completing your O levels where you are and coming to the UK for A levels. Self teaching yourself the additional content for GCSE physics really should not be a big task.

Well what I think is it is better to take GCSE or IGCSE than studying it while there are lot to study in O level.
Reply 11
Original post by Monishagar M
Yes, I admit. Then what about me getting me into year 11? I’m much concerned about coming to uk to study is because they don’t teach well in my schools here and I find uk’s curriculum is better. And if it’s like taking O level here, I’ll be writing the exams in 2023 February or March, because schools in my country (Sri lanka) we’re been closed for a long time and now only they started them all. Usually O level will be written in next year August. But since we haven’t studied during the lockdowns due to Covid. They are going to start from second term and my grade 10 will end in 2022 April. And then 9 months of grade 11 (grade=year in uk). I’m 15 now (Born in 1st of July 2006). Is getting into year eleven and catching up with others hard too? Well my family coming to UK is majorly Depents on my studies. And looks like it would be next September. What you all think. Any advices?

Or

Can I take a online course for IGCSE in uk from here and take the exam by my local Cambridge exam providers? (Like British Council)

I think your chances of being able to join Year 11 are slight as you'd be too old. It's more likely you'd have to go to a college but that means you'd only be able to take a limited number of GCSEs - I know my local college only offers Maths and English - alongside some other course(s) for people without the qualifications to take Level 3 qualifications such as A levels. If you can study some before you get here it would be better.
If you can't move to a better school in Sri Lanka, what's making you think that you could move to the UK for secondary/highschool studies in hopes of a better education? :confused:

Just because it is a school in the UK doesn't make the teaching excellent. State schools, grammar or not, are a hit-or-miss with teachers like 99% of the time and the percentages of A/A*s are not as high as you'd like to think most of the time. You won't get to sit for much exams these few years and need to rely on teachers' predictions, I don't think that it is that different? And how lenient teachers are a hit-or-miss, simply because it's the UK doesn't make them friendly or whatnot?

You could guarantee quality with private schools such as CLC, Harrow and whatsoever point is that they are very expensive. You could go to international schools in Sri Lanka and take iGCSEs if you want?

At this point, I'm genuinely curious :confused:
Original post by wifd149

Just because it is a school in the UK doesn't make the teaching excellent. State schools, grammar or not, are a hit-or-miss with teachers like 99% of the time and the percentages of A/A*s are not as high as you'd like to think most of the time. You won't get to sit for much exams these few years and need to rely on teachers' predictions, I don't think that it is that different? And how lenient teachers are a hit-or-miss, simply because it's the UK doesn't make them friendly or whatnot?

Agreed.
Original post by wifd149
If you can't move to a better school in Sri Lanka, what's making you think that you could move to the UK for secondary/highschool studies in hopes of a better education? :confused:

Just because it is a school in the UK doesn't make the teaching excellent. State schools, grammar or not, are a hit-or-miss with teachers like 99% of the time and the percentages of A/A*s are not as high as you'd like to think most of the time. You won't get to sit for much exams these few years and need to rely on teachers' predictions, I don't think that it is that different? And how lenient teachers are a hit-or-miss, simply because it's the UK doesn't make them friendly or whatnot?

You could guarantee quality with private schools such as CLC, Harrow and whatsoever point is that they are very expensive. You could go to international schools in Sri Lanka and take iGCSEs if you want?

At this point, I'm genuinely curious :confused:


Well for me it is not mostly about how the teachers teach. It is about what is taught. I have reviewed some course books of GCSE. I don’t like the syllabus and Learning Management System here. A system which haven’t been prepared for the pandemic too, what they did is to send notes via WhatsApp. And I think most of the syllabus teach what we don’t literally need in the future. And they don’t teach how we really use what we study in real life (eg: maths- we only study formulas and calculation we do not even do questions that ask real life problems) I know that even UK schools don’t teach much a lot of real life examples :smile: I’m into the curriculum and syllabus. And I see UK as a friendly country (I don’t like it here) and Education in UK is well certified around the world than Sri Lanka . Your idea of studying in a international school in Sri Lanka is great. I can do that. But those who become astronomer from Sri Lanka have studied in international school or in a different country (I want to become one) and I only study Maths, Science and ICT in a English medium in a National School where it not fully English it is bilingual learning and the remaining subjects in my home language. All I thought was it is better to be there and study.
Original post by Monishagar M
Well for me it is not mostly about how the teachers teach. It is about what is taught. I have reviewed some course books of GCSE. I don’t like the syllabus and Learning Management System here. A system which haven’t been prepared for the pandemic too, what they did is to send notes via WhatsApp. And I think most of the syllabus teach what we don’t literally need in the future. And they don’t teach how we really use what we study in real life (eg: maths- we only study formulas and calculation we do not even do questions that ask real life problems) I know that even UK schools don’t teach much a lot of real life examples :smile: I’m into the curriculum and syllabus. And I see UK as a friendly country (I don’t like it here) and Education in UK is well certified around the world than Sri Lanka . Your idea of studying in a international school in Sri Lanka is great. I can do that. But those who become astronomer from Sri Lanka have studied in international school or in a different country (I want to become one) and I only study Maths, Science and ICT in a English medium in a National School where it not fully English it is bilingual learning and the remaining subjects in my home language. All I thought was it is better to be there and study.

They didn't do that in the UK too lol...in fact we might have another lockdown and exams might get cancelled again. I don't get what you mean by "real life problems" we don't necessarily learn things in school we use in our daily life.... give one example of something you saw in our syllabus that is applicable to real life situation. You can learn IGCSE at Sri Lanka.. it has a very similar syllabus to GCSE and is basically the same qualification and it is also taught in some private schools here.
Original post by Monishagar M
Well for me it is not mostly about how the teachers teach. It is about what is taught. I have reviewed some course books of GCSE. I don’t like the syllabus and Learning Management System here. A system which haven’t been prepared for the pandemic too, what they did is to send notes via WhatsApp. And I think most of the syllabus teach what we don’t literally need in the future. And they don’t teach how we really use what we study in real life (eg: maths- we only study formulas and calculation we do not even do questions that ask real life problems) I know that even UK schools don’t teach much a lot of real life examples :smile: I’m into the curriculum and syllabus. And I see UK as a friendly country (I don’t like it here) and Education in UK is well certified around the world than Sri Lanka . Your idea of studying in a international school in Sri Lanka is great. I can do that. But those who become astronomer from Sri Lanka have studied in international school or in a different country (I want to become one) and I only study Maths, Science and ICT in a English medium in a National School where it not fully English it is bilingual learning and the remaining subjects in my home language. All I thought was it is better to be there and study.


Frankly speaking, if you are expecting good quality online teaching, being a school in the UK isn't a guarantee of that. What guarantees it is what school you go to, because this would depend on the teachers you will get and there isn't a legal standard of 'good teaching' either. On that note, your teachers matter a lot in the current climate since their predictions will determine your grades. Besides, currently school fluctuates between in-person and online quickly. Research about the schools you are going to and make inquiries to whomever is in charge.

"And I see UK as a friendly country..." That is a very naive perception; you would be amazed at the amount of racist encounters that can end in violence and altercations here. With Brexit and higher xenophobia, it's not always a great place. You can get racist teachers that could go from mistreating you slightly to purposefully making things difficult to you, let alone the people you would encounter in the trains, streets and shops. I won't go to the length of saying that everything is ****, but don't have high hopes either. It'll depend on where you live, but I've seen **** incidents in places like Harrods and trams enough. Not mentioning the amount of random violence inflicted to passers-by for no reason and dealing with unreasonable people.

At the end of the day, it depends on where you're going to study in the UK and what you can afford though. iGCSE is still a UK-based certification and you can get into universities with them, so choose your poison I suppose.

"(eg: maths- we only study formulas and calculation we do not even do questions that ask real life problems)" Isn't this what you do as an astronomer though? It's mostly formulas and calculations.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by wifd149
Frankly speaking, if you are expecting good quality online teaching, being a school in the UK isn't a guarantee of that. What guarantees it is what school you go to, because this would depend on the teachers you will get and there isn't a legal standard of 'good teaching' either. Besides, currently school fluctuates between in-person and online quickly. Research about the schools you are going to and make inquiries to whomever is in charge.


At the end of the day, it depends on where you're going to study in the UK and what you can afford though. iGCSE is still a UK-based certification and you can get into universities with them, so choose your poison I suppose.

Haha PRSOM... that was savage.

Since OP seems so keen on coming here for school... OP should look into British online schools https://kingsinterhigh.co.uk/ I heard Harrow has one too...

We're probably going to switch to online school anyway as there's a lockdown on the horizon, so no point coming here.. just attend that Harrow online school.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by summerbirdreads
Haha PRSOM... that was savage.

Since OP seems so keen on coming here for school... OP should look into British online schools https://kingsinterhigh.co.uk/ I heard Harrow has one too...

We're probably going to switch to online school anyway as there's a lockdown on the horizon, so no point coming here.. just attend that Harrow online school.


@Monishagar M OP would want to check if home schooling is acceptable in Sri Lanka first.
Now it’s like I can’t make a better decision of what I can do. I’m seeking for advice. What should I do next?
And I should mention here that I want to become a astronomer. What should I study in order to? I like to be in UK but since most of you say I can’t. What I can do?

I’ll tell you what I’ll be studying if I’m taking O level here in Sri Lanka,
Mathematics (bilingual - English and Tamil)
Science (bilingual- English and Tamil)
ICT (bilingual- English and Tamil)
History (Tamil)
Commerce (Businesses and Accounting) (Tamil)
Music (Carnatic music in Tamil)
English (English taught in Tamil)
Tamil (of course in Tamil)
Religion (Hinduism in Tamil)

This is what I’ll have to study here.

Quick Reply

Latest